British Nationals, Arusha (Leasehold Rights)

Oral Answers to Questions — Tanzania – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st December 1964.

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Photo of Sir John Fletcher-Cooke Sir John Fletcher-Cooke , Southampton, Test 12:00 am, 1st December 1964

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what further information he has received as to the reasons for the recent revocation of leasehold rights of occupancy in the Arusha area of Tanganyika; and what steps Her Majesty's Government are proposing to take to ensure that, where appropriate, British nationals are adequately compensated for the deprivation of their properties.

Photo of Mr Arthur Bottomley Mr Arthur Bottomley , Middlesbrough East

No specific reasons have been given, but these rights of occupancy were revoked under longstanding legislation providing for the proper development of land in Tanganyika. As regards the second part of the question, I understand that the Tanzanian Government have appointed a commission to inquire into individual cases. It is, therefore, premature to speak of deprivation of property.

Photo of Sir John Fletcher-Cooke Sir John Fletcher-Cooke , Southampton, Test

Has the Secretary of State any information to suggest that the real reason for this action by the Government of Tanzania is that the British subjects involved declined to take out Tanzanian nationality? If he has no such information, will he make inquiries on the point?

Photo of Mr Arthur Bottomley Mr Arthur Bottomley , Middlesbrough East

I have no such information. If the hon. Gentleman has evidence to support it, I should be glad to have it.

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that he will not accept what has gone on in Tanzania as a pattern for the Government's leasehold enfranchisement?

Photo of Mr Arthur Bottomley Mr Arthur Bottomley , Middlesbrough East

We have an assurance from the President of Tanzania that he wants to do all he can to help to keep British subjects there, and I think that we ought to rely upon that.

Photo of Mr Philip Goodhart Mr Philip Goodhart , Beckenham

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the harassing of British missionaries in this area has been increased in recent days? Will he ask the High Commissioner to keep an eye on this and protest, if necessary?

Photo of Mr Arthur Bottomley Mr Arthur Bottomley , Middlesbrough East

I think that the hon. Gentleman may be referring to one case. In that instance, we called for inquiries, and we are satisfied about the matter.